TACOMA — On Feb. 18, North Kitsap’s Jake Velarde won the 138-pound 2A state wrestling title, defeating Deer Park’s Joe Grable (4-1) at the Mat Classic XXIV in the Tacoma Dome.
It’s Velarde’s third state title. He is the first prep wrestler in the area to win three state titles.
Velarde’s match against Grable was slow to start. Velarde was looking for a takedown early on, but Grable would not give in. After Velarde nearly got the fall following a Granby Roll — a reversal typically used to escape from the bottom position — the 0-0 match turned into 3-0. It stayed close, but the North Kitsap wrestler was able to finish.
Overall, the North Kitsap wrestling team was just out of reach of placing in the top 10 of 2A schools in the tournament. North Kitsap earned 44 points for 12th place, six points behind W.F. West.
Three of the four other wrestlers from North Kitsap placed as well. Brenden Best (285) took sixth place, AJ Milyard (145) took eighth and Jake Sievers (113) took fifth.
YAKIMA — Kingston was back in full force March 3 as the team competed for third place at the Hardwood Classic. The team’s defense, which became a cornerstone of the program this season, made itself known and the Bucs had its best free-throw game in program history.
With that, the Bucs took third place in the 2A State Tournament in the Yakima Valley SunDome, defeating the Lindbergh Eagles 57-46.
“The magic just kept going,” Brady Sundquist said following the win. “We just stuck to our game, played D, and stopped [James Keum].”
The Bucs defense was able to hold Eagles star player James Keum to nine points. The Bucs accumulated 25 defensive rebounds and 15 offensive rebounds.
Offensively, Sam Byers topped the chart on points with 23, including going 8/8 on free throws. KT Deam scored 13 and was 7/8 in free throws. Richie Sander landed four three-pointers for a total of 12. And Cody Combs went 2/2 in free throws and hit two three-pointers.
In all, the Bucs landed 18/20 free throws for a 90 percent completion rate. Earlier in the tournament, the Bucs were 7/16 against the Lynden Lions and 16/23 against the Anacortes Seahawks.
SILVERDALE — The Buccaneers varsity baseball team sure turned things around.
For a team that was unsure it would make it to the district tournament, the Bucs stepped up their game, And, for the second time in program history, they became the West Central District III champions May 12, defeating Sumner 7-3.
The team advanced to Regionals, which preceded the 2A state tournament.
The Bucs played Lynden in the first round, losing 4-3. Kingston’s Richie Sander threw a no-hitter against Franklin Pierce May 8. Josh McLeod allowed a single hit against White River the following day.
ENUMCLAW — It’s 7 p.m. on a spring evening in 1987 and the regional playoff between the North Kitsap Vikings and the Burlington-Edison Tigers is delayed.
It’s not delayed because of weather, but because of a three-hour game preceding.
Finally, at 9:30 p.m., the Vikings and Tigers step onto the field for what would be more than four hours of baseball. The game ends at 2 a.m. when a Viking batter is thrown out at first base.
The Vikings would win the state title in 1988. But 1987 was the last time the Vikings and Tigers faced each other in the regional tournament.
Twenty-five years later,on May 19, the Vikings and Tigers faced each other again in the regional tournament. The Vikings earned their spot in Regionals after a three-game win streak May 12 and 14.
The wins followed a loss to Sumner May 9 — a win against Sumner would have guaranteed the Vikings a spot at Regionals. Instead, the North Kitsap team took the hard road.
But to come back and win against Foster (3-0), Lindbergh (9-1) and White River (11-4) showed what the Vikings can do on that baseball diamond. The Vikings lost to the Tigers 4-3. The Tigers then lost to Archbishop Murphy (4-2), the team that went on to win the 2A state championship.
TACOMA — Alexandra Lanzafame took first place in the triple jump, earning her team 10 points and setting a state record. She also took first in the long jump.
The two wins were part of a team effort by the North Kitsap girls track and field competitors at State. It was an effort that earned them the 2A state team title May 26.
North Kitsap finished with 69 points. Sehome finished second with 67.
Lanzafame’s state-meet record in the triple jump: 38-09.25. Her long jump was 18-04.75.
Reagan Colyer, a West Sound Academy student who runs for NK, finished first in the 100-meter hurdles (15.54 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (43.97). Colyer defeated Pullman’s Lauren McCluskey (15.68) in the 100 hurdles and Sehome’s Hanna Tarleton (44.92) in the 300 hurdles.
Lexi Simmons finished sixth in the discus, 113-05; and seventh in shot put, 34-11.75.
Hannah Snyder finished fourth in the triple jump, 35-01.47.
Indigo Williams finished fifth in the 200-meter run, 25.96; and sixth in the 100 meter, 12.76.
The 4x100 relay team (Colyer, Kamina Flemming, Lanzafame, Williams) placed second (48.55). The team finished just behind Bellingham (Holly Schrock, Alyssa Porter, Mary Dyrland, Chantal Tran) which crossed the finish line in 48.33.
The 4x200 team (Annika Krol, Kristin Brown, Mekdes Crowley, Snyder) finished fifth (1:44.95).
POULSBO — Anthony Poggi couldn’t play team sports or ride his dirt bike. With an upper and lower sprain in his right leg, he relied on crutches to get around.
Despite the injury, however, this 11-year-old Breidablik Elementary student was still a local champion and vied for a national title. Anthony won the Super Stock Division of the Kitsap Soap Box Derby championship June 3 in Poulsbo. The win sent him to Akron, Ohio for the 75th All-American Soap Box Derby July 21.
“He can’t play baseball, but he can drive,” Dave Poggi, Anthony’s father, said. “By God, he can drive.”
Anthony joined more than 500 other qualifiers from five countries in Akron.
Racers compete in either Stock, Super Stock, Masters or Ultimate Speed divisions. Participants become eligible by competing in local championships.
They have a shot at a share of $45,000 in college scholarships. First-place finishers at the derby in each division receive a $5,000 Goodyear Champion’s Scholarship.
In 2010, Anthony won Kitsap’s first trophy at the 73rd All-American Derby, crossing the finish line at No. 8 out of 125 in the Stock Division.
DES MOINES, Iowa — It was the last inning of the Midwest Collegiate Conference championships. The Grand View Vikings were up after trailing Iowa Wesleyan College by three runs earlier in the game.
Wesleyan was up to bat with two outs.
With the crack of the bat, a ground ball was hit between second and third base. Zac Smit, 2011 graduate of North Kitsap High School, was there to make the stop and throw out the batter to end the game, take the title and head to the opening of the world championships.
It was one of the more memorable experiences of Smit’s first year on a collegiate baseball team.
Smit returned from Grand View in the summer, where he played starting shortstop for the majority of the season. The freshman had the opportunity to play the starting position after a solid performance during a four-game series against Metrodome. He went 7-13 on offense and drove in three runs in the series, according to Grand View’s website. Smit took over for the senior shortstop, who was out for two weeks with a shoulder injury.
The Grand View Vikings finished the season 27-29 overall (8-6 home, 11-16 away, 8-7 neutral, 16-8 conference). Smit said the Midwest Conference teams were tough.
The Grand View Vikings went on to lose both games in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series opening round. They lost 5-3 to Peru State and 4-2 to Bellevue University.
At one point during the season, an announcer referred to Smit as the “Pride of Poulsbo.” He thought it was funny, but so far the nickname hasn’t caught on. He’s mostly Zac or “Smitty.”
POULSBO — When Amanda Hancock flew to Haiti in October, it was her first time leaving North America.
However, the North Kitsap High School junior and JV soccer team captain wasn’t vacationing. She joined a team of doctors and other volunteers with Friends of Haiti, working to provide support for a country marred by disaster.
“I’m a little nervous,” Hancock said before her trip. But nerves did not hinder her from preparing for the trip.
Amanda and the North Kitsap girls soccer team collected supplies — mostly for children and teens — which were shipped with the Friends of Haiti group.
Michelle Knott, North Kitsap JV coach and owner of Poulsbo Compounding Pharmacy, donated vitamins to the cause.
More than 20 doctors traveled to Haiti.
Amanda said the goal is “to get Haiti back on track” and helping the sick recover.
To go on the trip, Amanda worked at Taco Time in Poulsbo to afford a plane ticket ($750). She raised atotal of $1,500 for the trip, she said.
TACOMA — The wet, mucky cross country course at American Lake made for some messy races Oct. 27. The less-than-favorable conditions, however, did not slow the North Kitsap High School girls cross country team.
The girls won the Westside Classic, finishing first. The Westside Classic is the West Central District III championship.
Those competing included Reagan Colyer, Olivia Krol, Clara Lund, Kathleen Ramsey, Kristina Reid, Katrina Weinmann, and Sarah Zimmerman.
Of the seven runners from the North Kitsap boys cross country team, Ian Christen and Cooper Wall advanced to State.
Kingston High School was represented by boys and girls teams at the 2A State Meet Nov. 3. Kingston was one of two schools to have both teams qualify for State during the Westside Classic, Oct. 27. Sumner also sent boys and girls teams.
Kingston’s boys took fifth at the district championships. The girls took third.
Kingston boys competing included: Nicholas Boles, Ross Burk, Thomas Gill, John Griffin, Devon Jacob, Lucas Thompson, and Anthony Woelke.
Kingston girls competing included: Melia Beckwith, Alexa Benjamin, Sarah DeAscentiis, Hope Mclean-Gurney, Annie Roberts, Ivy Rodolf, and Korina Waring-Enriquez.
In order for a team of seven to qualify for State, girls had to finish fifth or better at Districts; boys had to finish sixth or better.
At State, North Kitsap’s Colyer finished fourth in the 2A division in 18 minutes 45.1 seconds. Kingston’s Roberts finished 16th (19:42.5).
POULSBO — At 42 yards out and with 5 seconds left in the playoff game, Kingston’s Colin Stone lined up for a field goal.
The game between the Kingston Buccaneers and Washington Patriots at North Kitsap Stadium was tied, 37-37.
Stone, who’s never kicked a game-winning field goal, focused on his technique.
The snap was made. The kick: Good.
The Bucs won 40-37.
For the first time in program history, the Kingston varsity football team went to State.
The Bucs played the Sumner Spartans Nov. 9 at Sunset Stadium. The Bucs lost 26-9.
KINGSTON — The Bucs lost in the first round of the 2A State Championships to the Sumner Spartans Nov. 7.
It was the first time a Kingston soccer team had advanced to State.
The State game followed a win over Franklin Pierce at the West Central District III tournament.
Though the Bucs “evened out with them” after the first two goals, Kingston coach Craig Smith said it was like playing against a college team. For one, the majority of Sumner players were 3-4 inches taller than the Bucs, he said. The field was also larger than the Bucs are used to, Smith said.
The Spartans finished the championships in first, defeating Sehome 1-0.
SILVERDALE — After earning a share of the Olympic League title, the North Kitsap Vikings earned the No. 1 seed into the West Central District III tournament Oct. 31 by defeating the Klahowya Eagles. The Vikings won in a shootout at Silverdale Stadium.
The team went on to win 4-1 over White River to earn a first-round State home game.
The Vikings were eliminated from the state tournament during the home game Nov. 7, losing 3-0 to Sehome.